Shadow War
A Poetic Chronicle of September 11 and Beyond, Volume One
(Revised, second edition)

Paperback: 84 pp.
Published: 2004

Price: $14.95




September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. So much changed so quickly — our sense of security, our national identity, our trust in the continuity of civilization itself. A bewildering mixture of shock, fear, vulnerability, sorrow, anger, and resolve overtook the United States after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by terrorists.
In the fifty poems of Shadow War, Volume One, Louis Daniel Brodsky chronicles the events of that infamous day and the seven and a half weeks that followed, proclaiming both rallying cries and protestations. Free of political agenda, Brodsky immerses us in a chaos of conflicting attitudes and emotions. While many of the poems express patriotic indignation toward America’s enemies, some show anger with America itself — its complacency, materialism, and insularity. Several evoke genuine ecumenical sentiments, a desire for people of all faiths to unite, while others are cynical, irreverent, ironic, and absurd.
We emerge from this diversity with a provocative and compelling portrait of perhaps the most confusing, yet reflective, time America has ever experienced.




Shadow War is full of powerful, clear-eyed, honest reactions to what has become of our country and its place in the world . . . I like the way Brodsky negotiates the uncertainty, the lack of real answers, in these poems, and the ways (as in the poem "'I Love Pakistan'" — a fine one) politicians use rhetoric to blind and confuse. "Where Is America?" is a terrific response, by the way; the tone is just right.

— Jay Parini, author of The Art of Subtraction: New and Selected Poems





September 11 and Beyond

September 11 resonates throughout the United States
Like a sorcerer's conjuration.
This phrase is the death knell of insularity,
Tolling a nation's surrendered innocence,
Its password into the world of terrorism.

September 11 is the abracadabra of a sinister magician,
Who's cast an evil spell
Over sleeping princes and princesses,
Awakened them to a strange new homeland,
Where risk and suspicion usurp security and freedom.

September 11 is a hex that's infected America.
In eight weeks, this ubiquitous incantation
Has invoked anxiety, instability, chaos,
Threatening to kill us all
If, somehow, we don't reverse its murderous curse.



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